We took Noah to see Santa last weekend. We weren’t sure how he’d react; for children with autism and sensory processing issues, things with a lot of lights and sound and people – like visits to Santa – can be very overwhelming. Although less than impressed when Santa first entered the barn (he was very loud with his Ho, ho, ho, his helper was ringing bells, and the other children in line were very enthusiastic about his appearance) and utterly unwilling to sit on his lap, he did allow him to put an arm around him and we got a few cute pictures. When Santa asked what Noah wants for Christmas, I explained that he is non-verbal and we signed his wish-list (a play kitchen and dinosaurs), and he nodded very enthusiastically when asked if he wanted candy. It was a great experience for him and for us as his parents.
My whole life, I always dreamed of having moments like these with my children. I dreamed of visits with Santa, the first piece of art that comes home from school, the first birthday party invitation. When William died, I wondered if my dreams of moments like these would ever come true; we fought long and hard to conceive him, and we knew that not only would we continue to face infertility moving forward, we were facing the knowledge that I have a medical condition that would complicate any future pregnancies.
I think that was one of the things that was hardest for me to cope with in the aftermath of William’s death: Did all of the dreams I had for my children die with him?
Fortunately, the answer to that question was no. We would be blessed with our amazing rainbow, Noah, and we would get to have moments like these with him. I wept the first time he brought a piece of art home from preschool. I wept the first time he was invited to a birthday party. In talking to friends who are parents, I know that these moments are generally pretty special, but there’s something utterly magical about them when you’ve battled so mightily to become a parent. I live for moments like these.